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fashion tips

Fashion

The style mantras I live by

2nd April, 2022

When I was younger my style was a constant work in project but as I’ve got older I’ve started to really nail down my look. I know what I like and what I don’t and what suits me and what won’t. This has made getting dressed a whole lot easier. This process has also enabled me to start following a few key style mantras. These are the anchor points of my wardrobe and  has helped shape what I wear on a day to day basis and what also what I buy and add to my closet. Every woman will have her own different mantras according to her own personal tastes, however I thought I’d share mine with you all in case it helps you discover your own words to style by.

Always find balance

My style is a constant balancing act. This means if I’m doing one thing such as wearing a shorter skirt then I’ll aim to have a more conservative blouse to even out my look. If I’m wearing a vibrant colour then I’ll try and tone down my accessories so it’s not too overwhelming. I’ve found this has helped me edit my outfits and has given my a basis from which to style them.

Quality over quantity

Given the move towards sustainable fashion I’ve become even more determined to shop for well made pieces with longevity. I try and make considered purchases rather than succumbing to the temptation of an impulse buy. This means that I’ll always leave it a few days before buying anything as it gives me plenty of time to think about how it’s going to work in my wardrobe. I’d rather only buy a tight edit of things a year that I know will last me season after season.

Interesting elements are key

I’ll always try to add one piece in my ensemble whether it’s a killer heel, a statement bag or showstopper earrings that will elevate it. I’ve found that this is often a great way to put my own unique stamp on what I’m wearing and helps give it an injection of personality.

Aim for a polished finish

If you were to ask me what I aim for when I get dressed everyday it would be a polished finish. I always make sure that from head to toe, every garment fits perfectly (which may mean a trip to the tailor to get it altered). As I’m quite on the petite side if I don’t do this I risk looking like I’m swimming in what I’m wearing. Also I don’t forget the little things such as making sure that my bags are always clean, my shoes aren’t scuffed or needing to be resoled or fixed and my jewellery has a classic feel.

Experiment and have fun

Fashion’s meant to be fun. It’s a great way to express myself and play around with different styles and trends, but ultimately I know it’s meant to be an enjoyable part of my life. So this is why I make a point of experimenting with different colours, combinations and brands to find looks that I love to wear and make me feel great every time I walk out the door.

What are your style mantras?

Photography: Sophia Athas

Fashion

How to improve the versatility of your wardrobe

20th March, 2022

Like most women I like to ensure that my wardrobe is wearable and versatile. This means that everything works together harmoniously and there are no one-off pieces that I can’t wear with anything else except for a particular pair of pants/skirt/top. The exception to this would be occasion wear such as a gown for a black tie dinner for example that realistically isn’t really going to be high on rotation. Given that my schedule is so mixed and I can be at a work event, doing an interview or hanging out at home with the girls throughout the week I have to ensure that what’s in my closet can accommodate all these different facets of my life. So, how do I do this? Well there are a few key things that have helped me do this…

Assess your wardrobe

The key with a versatile wardrobe is knowing what you already own. If you approach outfit planning and purchases strategically you’re more likely to have a wearable collection of clothes that can be worked back with multiple pieces. If you just buy things on a whim you may end up with a beautiful red top that goes with absolutely nothing in your closet and you’re then forced to purchase something else to go with it.

Opt for neutrals

I am a big fan of neutrals for the fact that they are so easy to mix and match. I can take one cream jumper in my closet for example and find that it can work with a multitude of pants and skirts quite easily. Whilst a few hits of bold colour is great if you want a truly versatile wardrobe you have to start with a fairly blank canvas to start with and that’s where shades such as white, cream, beige and grey work a treat.

Keep it simple

Pared back pieces give you the luxury of being able to style them in multiple ways, dressed up or down. You’re more likely to get more wears out of a plain pair of blue jeans for example as opposed to one with lots of embroidery or embellishment because you don’t have too many other competing factors to take into account. By making simplicity your style mantra you can take a few key items and extend their wear.

Implement the 10 outfit rule

Before buying anything ask yourself if you can wear said item with 10 other things you own. If the answer is yes, you’ve got a great piece, high on the versatility scale. If it’s a no then it might be time to go back to the drawing board and look harder for something else that might be more wearable. You’ll soon find that by doing this you not only grow your wardrobe in a way that avoids the ‘I have nothing to wear’ problem but that you don’t waste money on unnecessary one hit wonder purchases.

Neutral hues are always guaranteed to be versatile

Fashion

The list that will help you improve your style

9th February, 2022

It’s great to have a vision for something but it’s often the execution which can be the sticking point for many of us. So, it’s a great idea to write it down (a Harvard study actually found that the 3% of students who wrote their goals down ended up earning more than the other 97% combined) to help you hone in on what you want and visualise it. Actually putting pen to paper and writing your thoughts down makes it easier to achieve what you set out to do.

And while you’ve probably mapped out your goals for key areas like work, finance and health, I do find that taking the time to map out your sartorial goals will help you avoid fashion meltdowns, spend less and generally end up with a more wearable wardrobe. Ready to start? Here are the four key places I think it’s worth focusing on.

Do:

Ask yourself what you want to action when it comes to your wardrobe this year. Is it adopting a more minimalist approach? Is it shopping less? Is it avoiding wardrobe dilemmas first thing in the morning? The answers to these questions will help you define what you want to do fashion-wise this year. Once you know what you want to achieve, start breaking it down into actionable steps. So if you want to pare your wardrobe back, then schedule in a wardrobe decluttering session, then follow that up with organising your closet to keep the momentum going.

More:

What are the things you want more of? Whether you simply want more time every day to drink your coffee instead of running around trying to get dressed for work, or that you want more flattering go-to pieces, this is the time to identify what it is that’s going to be your fashion mantra for the year. Look what what you want more of in your life when it comes to fashion. This will keep you in check when you want to buy something but it may not work within the context of the goals you’re trying to achieve, or help you direct your attention to something that will help you tick things off your list.

Having fashion list will help you with you to get to know your style
Less:

Being a more conscious consumer is something many of us are working on, so instead of buying non-stop it’s important to take a step back and pinpoint what you actually need—and also what you have in abundance already. So, if you’ve got five perfectly fine stripey tees, do you really need another? It’s also a great opportunity to pinpoint the things you might want to phase out of your fashion repertoire. Perhaps you had clung onto a particular style that no longer works for you? If so, now is the perfect time to start afresh.

Want:

I’m a firm believer in having a fashion hit list. Look at the things you’d really like to add to your wardrobe and note them down. This will help you from making impulse purchases and instead keep you focused on the things that you should direct your hard earned dollars towards. Would you rather save and buy that dream bag or waste it on smaller purchases that you may not really love for more than a season? Having a defined ‘want’ list will help you shop smarter and also work towards a more cohesive wardrobe.

What strategies do you currently use to help you navigate your wardrobe?

Fashion, What I Wore

How to elevate your weekend wardrobe

29th January, 2022

Ahhh weekends. There’s nothing better than enjoying a little down time at the end of a hectic week and for me that also applies to my wardrobe. I’m all about comfort plus when it comes to what I wear an Saturday and Sunday but it doesn’t mean that I compromise on the style front.

I think you can still achieve a really nice balance between your fave trackies and being dressed to the nines (something I became familiar as soon as I started working from home). I’ve built up a great arsenal of casual pieces since I’ve become a mum (silk shirts just aren’t made for playgrounds) so this has in turn been able to translate into my off duty looks as well. Here’s how you can elevate your weekend wardrobe into something comfortable yet polished.

Revamp pieces with a white tee

A white t-shirt can be paired with so many things — wear it under a slip dress, pop it on with a skirt or tuck it into wide legged pants so it pays to have a few in your closet. It’s honestly the easiest thing to mix and match and will save you many wardrobe hassles over the weekend. I’ve also found teaming a white tee with dressier piece also tones them down a bit and makes it appropriate for casual day wear, expanding the use of your wardrobe even more.

Try a printed skirt

A beautiful printed skirt is a seriously comfortable option as far as weekend wear goes, but it looks so chic at the same time. Try a pleated skirt or a wrap style with a striking print for an of-the-moment outfit. Pair it with a lightweight sweater or a tee or singlet and a pair of sneakers and you’re ready for whatever the day throws at you.

Invest in great sneakers

I live in sneakers most of the time so I’ve found that having a go-to pair is ideal. Classic white sneakers will go with virtually everything you own whether that be your favourite jeans or a summer dress. They’re a definite workhorse so you can stock up on a few different styles and get plenty of use out of them.

Update your look with fun frames

A pair of sunglasses is always within easy reach whenever I leave the house and I’ve found it to be one of the easiest ways to make a look feel polished and ‘now’. Try the small frame sunglasses trend if you’re feeling a little adventurous with your sunnies or a colourful pair which will inject a little playfulness into any outfit.

Have a go-to carryall

Whether you opt for a chic backpack, a roomy tote or a crossbody style it’s always a good idea to swap to a more casual, take-anywhere bag on the weekend. I’ve found that a reliable and study carryall made from leather is something that will last you many seasons. Also switching from my work bag to an off duty bag also helps me get into the right mindset for relaxation.

Dress it up

Dresses are without a doubt one of the easiest things you can ever put on simply because there’s no need to worry about mixing and matching tops and bottoms. I’ve found slip dresses are a simple shortcut to looking on trend and chic, plus you can mix up the look of them by wearing a t-shirt underneath.

Turn to chic co-ord sets

I love co-ordinating sets. Whether it be a shell top with shorts or a jumper with jogger pants there’s something quite effortless about matching separates that makes you look instantly pulled together. They’re a major trend at the moment so you’ll no doubt find a set that works within your style and budget this season.

What are some ways you’ve elevated your weekend look?

Fashion

What every girl should have in her capsule weekend wardrobe

23rd January, 2022

By the time the weekend rolls around all I want to wear is something comfortable that still fits into my usual style of polished and classic. Also come Saturday morning I just want to get the day started and grab my morning coffee with the girls rather than standing in front of my closet pondering what to wear. If you’re the same and would rather just go into auto-pilot style-wise when you’re in relaxation mode, then I highly recommend pulling together your very own capsule wardrobe for the weekend. By narrowing down your wardrobe to a few key pieces for the weekend you make getting dressed so much easier.

When doing this pick the pieces that you know you feel and look good in, but also are ideal for just relaxing and enjoying a lazy day. Consider your head-to-toe look from your tops and bottoms to shoes and accessories. These will form the cornerstone of your weekend looks and make getting a breeze. When it comes to what to have in your wardrobe, I highly recommend considering adding the following things. These items feature heavily in my off duty wardrobe and I know you’ll get plenty of use out of them too.

Sneakers

A good, reliable pair of white sneakers is comfy and can be worked back with dressy ensembles or your most casual off duty look. Definitely include them in your weekend rotation.

Jeans

A good pair of jeans in a classic wash will serve you well on weekends. You can pair them with a simple tee for a day of running errands or dress them up with heels for drinks with the girls.

A white tee

Invest in the best quality white tee you can as I guarantee you will wear it to death. I wear mine with jeans, under dresses, with skirts, shorts, the list is endless. I honestly can’t get through a weekend without wearing one.

A dress you can throw on easily

The thing with dresses is they’re comfy and so non-fuss. Just throw a dress on and you’re pretty much done. Look for one in a great print or alternatively neutral shades if you want to get multiple uses out of it.

Fun frames

I tend to change my sunglasses as often as I do my outfits so I can attest that often great frames can really add something extra to a look. For weekends in particular, I think a fun pair of sunglasses (I love a cat eye or a small, minimalist style) that’s just a little more playful is ideal for off duty style.

What are some of your weekend wardrobe essentials?

Fashion

How to keep your clothes looking pristine

10th January, 2022

We all invest a fair amount of money on our clothes over time so it’s important to ensure they last season after season. If your clothes don’t tend to go the distance it may be time to tweak your clothes maintenance routine. Adopt some of these basics and you could well give your clothes a new lease on life.

Say goodbye to wire hangers

If you want to keep your clothes’ shape be sure to invest in wooden hangers or flocked hangers. Wire hangers tend to end up misshapen and don’t provide enough support so you’ll end up with wrinkled, bunched up clothes. Additionally you don’t want to have delicates such as a silk shirt snagging on a hanger. Plus when you’re flicking through your clothes rail it’s highly likely wire hangers will end up in a gnarly mess which will make it much harder to find what you’re looking for.

Folding and sorting

When it comes to closet organisation be sure to fold anything that can easily be stretched out such as t-shirts and knits. Hang garments that tend to wrinkle easily such as dresses and shirts.

Follow care instruction labels

Yes, they might be a pain to follow at times but going rogue when a garment clearly states dry clean only or throwing something in the washing machine when it specifies hand washing it will compromise the quality of a garment. If you want your clothes to stay in the same condition as when you first bought it it’s important to launder it as instructed.

Always separate your clothes into whites, brights and dark colours

Failing to separate your clothes will mean that your once bright white t-shirt may end up looking dull and grey as a lot of garments aren’t colourfast which means colour molecules will end up settling on lighter coloured garments.

Examine where you do the most damage to your clothes

Are you constantly damaging your clothes in the same spots? It’s time to look at how you can minimise it. For example if you’re always getting frayed hems it could mean that you need to hem your pants a little higher to avoid it dragging on the ground or alternatively you may need to limit the shoes you wear to a particular height. Pinpointing how you damage your clothes the most means you’re better able to avoid it.

Don’t ignore stains

Deal with a stain immediately to avoid it setting in. A baby wipe or soda water will help temporarily treat a stain if you’re out and about but be sure to dab it with a pre-stain treatment and wash immediately when you get home.

What are some ways you keep your clothes in great condition?

Fashion

How to revamp your work wardrobe this year

9th January, 2022

A brand new year is the perfect excuse to get your work wardrobe in order. I always start the beginning of a new working year by taking stock of everything in my wardrobe so I can identify the key areas that I may need to build on or add to to inject some freshness into my office look. Here’s how to give yourself a stylish start to the year ahead…

Identify your dream work looks

Now is the time to pinpoint your ideal work outfits (I’d suggest doing a mood board for when you’re working from home and when you’re actually in the office). Start by pulling together examples of everything from jackets you may like to suit styles you’ve always wanted to try so you can get an idea of how you want your work wardrobe to look. Once you’ve done this you’ll have a blueprint of your style which makes everything from decluttering what you currently own to what you need to shop for so much easier.

Bin or keep?

Pull out everything you wear in work mode and assess each piece with a critical eye. Does that dress really flatter you? Is that skirt the right length? The aim of this exercise is to make sure that you only keep things that you will actually wear and will help you look polished. Be brutal! Get rid of anything that you haven’t worn in awhile or is looking a bit worse for wear. Once you’ve got a pile of clothes that you intend to keep separate them into what you will need to get dry cleaned, mended or altered.

Compile a shopping list

I always tend to go to gravitate towards shirts for work meetings so it’s one area of my wardrobe I make sure I always have well stocked. If you’re like me then now is the ideal time to invest in some fresh new shirts to wear throughout the year. Look at what else in your wardrobe is looking a bit tired and consider replacing it such as the work shoes you wore virtually every day last year or the work bag that’s seen better days. Or if you can see that there are serious gaps in your wardrobe, for example if you have been avoiding wearing particular things because you don’t have the right belt then look into finally buying one.

Look at what can be altered

It’s a pain having to take just one thing to be altered so I always wait until I’ve got a few things that need to be done. What better time than a brand new year? This is the time to get any pants hemmed to the right length and get any jackets tailored to fit perfectly. A little bit of tailoring can really make all the difference and make something old feel new again.

Try on different outfits

Once you’ve got all your key pieces sorted start trying them on to compile a few key go-to outfits. This will not only allow you to get a better idea of how functional your office wardrobe is it’s always great to have a mental cheat sheet for those days when you’ve woken up and just want to go into auto pilot or you are having an “I have nothing to wear day” and need to get out the door fast.

Fashion

How to… elevate neutrals

25th October, 2021

If there’s one thing that I think every wardrobe needs it’s a great assortment of neutrals. They’re ideal for mixing and matching and are ultra versatile, but because of this, they might be considered a little flat or boring. But I think they’re anything but. In fact I think they’re the ultimate workhorses of any wardrobe because not only can they be treated as a blank canvas but they can also be quite impactful by employing accessories or various textures into the mix.

The benefit of working with neutrals is that it provides the perfect base to start with and allows you to elevate them easily with a few simple style tricks. Here’s how to elevate neutrals with ease.

Mixing textures

A great way to bring neutrals to life is to mix textures. By bringing a tactile element into your look whether it’s mixing a soft cashmere with a luxe linen in a neutral shade, you can instantly add a little depth to your look. Also incorporating fabrics like denim and leather into your outfit can easily amp up any neutral tones.

Accessorising

As always accessories are key. Given that neutrals tend to be quite pared back, they can easily be lifted by adding strong accoutrements like jewellery, shoes or bags. This will also allow you to incorporate a few contrasting colours and textures into the mix making for a more impactful outfit.

Colour is a great way to increase the impact of a neutral piece

Adding touches of colour

The beauty of neutral tones is that it acts like a blank canvas and you can easily incorporate touches of colour into it. Choosing strong shades like punchy pinks or deep blues act as the perfect complementary hues, instantly lifting a palette featuring beiges, creams, tans or whites.

Block and ombre styling

Playing with a neutral colour palette and its various shades makes for an eye catching look. You could try working similar neutral shades together for a colour blocking effect — something that was quite prominent at this year’s Fashion Week. Another alternative is working with one neutral colour and incorporating varying shades of it for an ombre effect.

Embrace neutrals in its various iterations

The beauty of neutrals is that it works in almost any form. A sleek neutral blazer adds an elevated seasonal touch to a spring/summer look and works beautifully when layered with other neutrals such as beige, white, tan and fawn. Alternatively a lightweight neutral summer trench works as a great topper with most outfits. Wide leg pants or a simple basic tank or tee are also perfect for this time of year. 

How do you elevate the neutral tones in your wardrobe?

Fashion

How I style lounge wear

19th September, 2021

When I’m off duty I’m all about comfort. I have to spend a lot of my working life getting dressed up so when it’s time to unwind, I like to ensure that whatever I’m wearing is easy and relaxed. Leisure wear is all about an unfussy silhouette which I love, but my style still maintains a polished feel no matter whether it’s for work or play  so I always keep that in mind for any off duty looks. I like to know I can easily go from a day spent lounging at home to a quick trip to the shops without too much fuss. Want to know how to style lounge wear in a no-fuss way? When it comes to dressing for comfort here are the rules I stick to….

Go for quality fabrics

I make sure I buy basics in good quality fabrics. For example I love to wear beautiful cashmere knits or a great linen shirt just to make sure everything looks polished. If you are planning to wear these pieces regularly, investing in quality fabrics will make sure that they last longer. My favourite brands for leisure wear include Bassike and C&M as I find they make great relaxed pieces that are quite fashion forward at the same time.

Stick to a specific colour palette

I refine my colours down to neutrals such as black, white and grey when it comes to leisure wear. It’s easy to mix and match pieces with that colour scheme and straightforward is what you want when it comes to off duty style. That said, I’ll often add a pop of colour with a scarf or another accessory just to give the outfit a little injection of personality.

Sneakers are a key part of leisurewear (it also makes running after kids easier!)

Opt for dressier shoes

Your choice of footwear can often help dress up an otherwise casual look. For example I love slouchy, baggy pants with a drop crotch and when teamed with a pair of slides or loafers or a dressy pair of runners it looks considered and put together—but still super comfy.

Mix with quality accessories

If I’m wearing a really simple outfit such as slouchy pants with a tee, often the addition of certain accessories can help pull it together and dress it up a bit. A leather jacket or a handbag are easy additions that give it a touch more polish. By doing this I’m still comfortable but maintain a stylish vibe at the same time.

What are some of your fave ways to style lounge wear?

Fashion

What to spring clean from your wardrobe

4th September, 2021

Photography by Adrienne Leonard on Unsplash

Now that spring is here there’s no better excuse to do a big wardrobe clean out. I always like to do one at this time of year to ensure that I’m utilising my closet space with pieces that I truly love and use often—otherwise I’m just losing precious real estate that could otherwise be occupied by new purchases! That said, it’s also great to take stock of everything to see what gaps I currently have and what I’ve got way too much of so I know what to look for when I’m shopping. Also, it reminds me of old favourites that I can incorporate into my fashion repertoire.

If you’re about to embark on a clear out, take the opportunity to weed out the below items from your wardrobe and donate them to charity so someone else can make better use of them. After this process I guarantee you’ll rediscover clothes that you’d forgotten about and in turn create some fresh looks that will make everything you own feel new again.

“Someday” clothes

You know what I’m talking about—these are the clothes that you’re saving for “someday”. So whether you’re bookmarking something for that time when you reach your ideal weight or are hanging onto an old dress in the hopes you may wear it to an event down the track (even though you’ve been to multiple occasions and didn’t even think to pull it out) then it’s time to be brutal and say goodbye.

Ill-fitting pieces

If something is a bit loose you can either get rid of it or if you think you’d actually get a lot of wear out of it if only it fit, then make the effort to get it tailored. If the problem is that it’s too tight then it’s time to bid it adieu. You want your clothes to sit well and flatter your shape not look like you’re squeezing yourself into something that just doesn’t work.

Anything you haven’t worn in a year

There are some things that obviously don’t fall into this category such as a wedding dress, but generally if you’ve managed to get through four seasons without once reaching for a particular garment then it’s a good sign that you can live without it.

Irreparable garments

There are some things that you may be keeping in your closet as they need a few repairs. Pull all these items out and take the pieces that you actually want to keep and wear to a tailor to see what can be done. For anything that’s not able to be fixed, instead of binning it, try recycling it. There are certain organisations that take clothes that are in poor condition and recycle them into things like rags, insulation or stuffing. Do a quick Google search to find a place near you.

What things do you need to clear from your wardrobe?